Revitalization efforts begin in northeast Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Clinic breaks ground at new location off NE 23rd Street. (Emily Collins)

The revitalization of the metro's northeast side officially kicked off Wednesday.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in front of the old, abandoned building at 1708 NE 23rd Street. The building doesn’t look like much now but it’ll soon take on a new facade.

"The entire project itself is going to be about 19,000 square feet of medical and retail and restaurant space,” said Eran Harrill, CEO of the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce.

Taking up space first is the Oklahoma City Clinic, which broke ground just one day following the Oklahoma City Council's approval of the $1.3 million project. Clinic COO Scott Potter says the move has been long anticipated.

"The majority of our patients do come from northeast Oklahoma City,” Potter said. “So it was important to us to be right in the middle of that neighborhood."

Better access to health care is exactly what those living in the neighborhood want, according to Jonathan Dodson with Pivot Project.

“We had been part of a thing called MAPS for Neighborhoods, where we were going out and seeing what the community needed and wanted, and the overwhelming consensus we heard from the east community, the northeast community, was we needed access to healthcare,” Dodson said.

This development is going to give them that and more, something Harrill says is much needed.

"It's really easy to drive around northwest Oklahoma City, moving through Edmond and even some of the other districts that have come up. And you see great development. You look down northeast Oklahoma City and it hasn't been that way. And there's been a reason that it hasn't been that way. We're trying to turn the corner of that and really build up, so as a city, we can rise together,” Harrill said.

The project is slated to be finished sometime in late spring or early summer of 2018.

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